AEW Dynamite (Oct. 6, 2021) emanated from the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, PA. The 2nd anniversary show featured Hangman Page’s magnificent return to win the Casino Ladder Match, Darby Allin being jumped by masked hooligans, and an Inner Circle reunion.
Get caught up on all the Dynamite details with the excellent play-by-play from Claire Elizabeth.
Hangman Page returns!
Hangman Page made a triumphant return to AEW with his sights set on Kenny Omega and the AEW World Championship.
The Casino Ladder Match took the main event spot. There were seven competitors entering at two-minute intervals. Whoever retrieved the poker chip from high above would earn a future world title shot as their prize.
The order on entrance was Orange Cassidy, PAC, Andrade, Matt Hardy, Lance Archer, and Jon Moxley. The first kaboom was Andrade with a sunset flip powerbomb to PAC off the ladder.
The next memorable moment was Archer landing a flying splash to Cassidy across a hanging ladder.
The third whammy was OC landing a Superman punch to Archer. The big man lost grip of the ladder to hang on his shoulders. A second Superman punch bent Archer over. Cassidy tried to scale off the big man’s back up toward the poker chip, but Moxley intervened to prevent a finish.
Joker time. It was none other than the return of Hangman. The crowd reaction was gloriously loud cheers.
Hangman had been out of action since taking a brutal beating at the hands of the Elite. Hangman also lost a previous tag bout with the Dark Order that prevents him from challenging Omega. This ladder match proved to be a workaround solution.
Hangman cleaned house and hit PAC with a vicious Deadeye piledriver off a ladder through a table.
After more wild moves, the finish came down to Hangman and Moxley battling up the ladder. Hangman packed more wallop in his punch and knocked Moxley off his perch. That cleared the path free and easy to pluck the poker chip.
Give me a, “Hell, yeah!” Hangman’s return was an awesome moment. His climb to victory was awesome as well. Every concern I had about the turns in the Omega story stymieing Hangman’s momentum were put to rest. His joker reveal was as hot as he’s ever been. The world is ready to see Hangman dethrone Omega for the AEW World Championship. Their eventual clash is going to be electric.
The action was riveting for a ladder match. This ended up as a TV version running about 15 minutes. Enough amazing spots were executed to quench my thirst for chaos. Even though Hangman seemed like a sure bet to win, I was still peaking toward the entrance-way to see if the Elite would ruin his day. That only added to the overall drama.
The ladder match created two feuds I really want to see. First is Jon Moxley against Orange Cassidy. Mox will not play silly games, and I want to see how OC adapts. Second is Archer against PAC. That would be all about the Bastard chopping down the Muderhawk Monster. That could be a classic little man versus big man puzzle. I didn’t realize I wanted either of those potential matches until I saw the interactions play out in the bout.
Chronicles of Darby Allin
Darby Allin received the most camera time throughout the show. He was in a sitdown interview, a match, and also violently accosted by well-dressed masked hooligans.
It began with a conversation explaining Allin’s face paint gimmick to Jim Ross. He already faced death at the age of 5 when his uncle died in a drunk driving accident. Allin only paints half his face, because 50% of him feels dead. That includes respect and trust. Allin refuses to let MJF win the war of getting under his skin.
When Allin stepped into the ring, he took on powerhouse Nick Comoroto. The big man hit some strong moves, but this was all about showcasing Allin. An over-the-top stunner then a Coffin Drop ended the bout. Afterward, QT Marshall connected on a sneaky cutter to Sting. The Icon no-sold the move and promptly punished QT with a Scorpion Death Drop.
The contest was fine for its purpose to put over Allin. He did his job without getting too crazy. That post-match skirmish is what put a smile on my face. It was a perfect way to get my fix of, “It’s Sting!”
Backstage, Alex Marvez caught up with Allin to discuss MJF’s desire for a match next week on Dynamite. Allin accepted. That’s when a black limousine pulled up. Distraction! A masked man (obviously Shawn Spears) smashed Allin with a chair. Two more masked men (obviously FTR) carried Allin like bouncers ejecting him from a bar to ram his head into a stop sign. Another masked man (obviously Wardlow) hit an F-5 driving Allin down onto a pile of steel barricades. The final masked man (obviously MJF) jammed a skateboard onto Allin’s throat. These masked marauders hid their identities so well that we may never know the true culprits (obviously the Pinnacle).
A gang assault on @DarbyAllin and it's quite obviously the handy work of @The_MJF and #ThePinnacle - Tune in to @tntdrama NOW for the #AEWDynamite 2 Year Anniversary Show LIVE! pic.twitter.com/cyJS7Pdy3E— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) October 7, 2021
Excellent execution for the pounding of Allin. It contained elements of surprise for the initial contact. The attacks were a nice blend of creativity and violence. There was humor in regard to the Pinnacle having plausible deniability with the masks. I’m looking forward to hearing the Pinnacle’s alibi as they push blame onto someone else. The confrontation also heightened the urge to see Allin achieve retribution.
Commentary teased that Allin would not be medically cleared to compete on Dynamite. He will address the issue on Rampage.
Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.
Kenny Omega, Young Bucks, & Adam Cole defeated Bryan Danielson, Christian Cage, Jungle Boy, & Luchasaurus. The fisticuffs focused around a few story elements. The Bucks took out Christian with an Indy Taker piledriver to the floor. Christian was escorted out by medical staff.
Whenever Omega and Danielson clashed, Danielson got the upper hand. Omega had to be saved twice. The second was quite nifty. Danielson executed a tiger suplex then transitioned for the Cattle Mutilation submission. Nick Jackson came flying in for a senton onto Danielson to break the hold.
The Super Elite took over in the end. Omega caught a kick from Danielson to set up a triple superkick from the Super Kliq. A four-man Super Elite trigger on Jungle Boy ended the match for Cole to pick up the pin.
High energy opener with popping moves aplenty. The stories within the story were intriguing. Christian was taken out on a stretcher. I’m curious if this will affect his upcoming Impact World Championship defense at Bound for Glory on October 23.
I have mixed feelings about Danielson looking so dominant against Omega. On one hand, it does amp up the desire to see him get a rematch. On the other hand, Danielson should most definitely be taking a back seat now that Hangman is #1 contender. I felt the exchanges were a little too one-sided in Danielson’s favor. Omega needs to be looking like a superstar as often as possible until he meets Hangman in the ring.
Last note on the match, Luchasaurus is fantastic at those hot tag spots. The way he ran wild would make his dino ancestors proud.
TNT Championship: Sammy Guevara retained against Bobby Fish. The Forbidden Door newcomer used his experience to dominate much of the match. Guevara took a few tumbles on his neck to slow down his pace. Fish poured on the offense. As Sammy was on wobbly legs, Fish unleashed a head kick. Guevara ducked and exploded for the GTH knee strike finisher to steal the win.
Great outing from Fish. I want to see him more in AEW. Matches against Jon Moxley, Darby Allin, and Daniel Garcia come to mind instantly as intriguing contests. (Fish was announced as All Elite after the show.) In story terms, I wasn’t that impressed with Guevara. He earned the title through questionable tactics to defeat Miro. This was Guevara’s chance to make a statement that he was no fluke. He kind of got his butt kicked and won out of nowhere. I hope that doesn’t become a pattern. Guevara is too skilled to dull down his offense.
Inner Circle reunion. After Guevara’s win, Dan Lambert led his MMA goons and the Men of the Year to beat down the TNT champ. Fuego del Sol was futile in an effort for the save. Eventually, Chris Jericho and Jake Hager came roaring out to clean house. A match was made for Scorpio Sky, Ethan Page, and Junior dos Santos against the Inner Circle trio. That will happen next week in Miami with Jorge Masvidal ringside.
Out of all the people in the ring for that segment, I’m most interested in seeing how well dos Santos adapts to pro wrestling. He is a former UFC heavyweight champ, but his time is winding down in MMA. Competing as a wrestler in AEW would be a cool chapter to finish his athletic career.
TBS Championship. Tony Schiavone revealed the big news that the women’s division will have new gold in their grasp. A tournament will crown the inaugural titleholder for when Dynamite moves to TBS in 2022.
The TBS Championship is coming to the #AEW women's division when #AEWDynamite moves to @TBSNetwork starting January 5!— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) October 7, 2021
Tune in to @tntdrama NOW for the #AEWDynamite 2 Year Anniversary Show LIVE! pic.twitter.com/RDe3N988th
Thunder Rosa, Skye Blue, Ruby Soho, and Jade Cargill cut promos hyping their participation. Dr. Britt Baker DMD dumped on the title to make it sound second-rate right out of the gate. She has happy to let all the jealous women chase that belt instead of her world title.
#AEW Women's World Champion @RealBrittBaker will be watching the TBS Championship Tournament in January FROM THE TOP - Tune in to @tntdrama NOW for the #AEWDynamite 2 Year Anniversary Show LIVE! pic.twitter.com/0dIIwBvaRM— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) October 7, 2021
It will be interesting to see what kind of identity AEW carves out for the TBS Championship. I’m not so sure their division is deep enough yet for the TBS champ to run through an open challenge style like the TNT champ does. That would clear out challengers for the world title picture.
House of Black. Dante Martin surprisingly received live mic time in the ring. He was confident in being a problem for other wrestlers and called out anyone in the locker room. Lights out. Lights on. Malakai Black. BLACK MIST! Head kick. Lights out. Lights on with Martin’s body gone from the ring. Black accepted the challenge.
That was a badass way to kick-start interest in a mini feud. Black’s path of destruction checked all the boxes of entertainment, even if it was a cowardly attack. I really like seeing Martin get time to speak as a youngster. He delivered clearly and to the point. It was better than Jungle Boy. That should be a message for JB to kick it up a notch on his promo work. If not, Martin could take his spot over time as one of the four young pillars.
Later in the show, Lio Rush proposed that Martin seek him out for a business plan. Rush sees Martin as an undervalued commodity deserving of reaching new heights. If Rush is stepping into the managerial game, then I hope he poaches Jade Cargill from Mark Sterling.
Serena Deeb defeated Hikaru Shida. The Shining Samurai was seeking her 50th win in AEW. There was even a special trophy made in anticipation of the moment. The story was Shida in control but Deeb working on damaging the knee. That strategy paid dividends when Shida slowed down on the Katana spinning knee strike. Deeb saw it coming and blocked the finisher. An eye rake turned the tide for an inverted dragon screw, a Detox slam, and the Serenity Lock submission. Shida surprisingly tapped out in pain. Deeb then smashed the trophy over Shida’s head to cement a heel turn. Deeb stood tall soaking in the eruption of boos from the crowd.
Wow. That was a surprising result. Even though seeds were planted for the upset, I didn’t believe it until it happened. The solid action was made even better by the storytelling. That is a match that would likely be more enjoyable on replay after knowing the outcome and what to look for. The outcome should provide both women storyline motivation going forward so they can appear more often on TV. Thumbs up for Shida’s front facelock airplane spin. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it once more. I love airplane spins.
Notes: Jon Moxley cut a ladder match promo early in the show. He has no more patience. There is no man in AEW that can pin him or submit him, so AEW is playing games with a ladder match. Moxley has no problem getting nuts. This didn’t really play out in any special way during the main event, so perhaps it is teasing into the future?
CM Punk worked the crowd into a frenzy then called out Daniel Garcia for a match on Rampage.
Arn Anderson made a point to Cody Rhodes by lighting his clothes on fire. Cody was seen in the upper level of his mansion in a comical way at first. He came down to hear Arn out. Coach Anderson chastised fame getting in Cody’s head and affecting his wrestling success. The scene ended with Cody tossing his tie into the bonfire. I hope this series of interludes leads to Cody using greased lightning to chase chickens, like Rocky Balboa.
The Acclaimed want the tag titles. Max Caster cut a diss rap on the Lucha Bros for a match on Rampage.
The top ranked tag team #TheAcclaimed get their #AEW World Tag Team Title shot against the #LuchaBros this Friday on #AEWRampage - Tune in to @tntdrama NOW for the #AEWDynamite 2 Year Anniversary Show LIVE! pic.twitter.com/T08CCiMc0I— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) October 7, 2021
The Dark Order reconciled and agreed to make decisions as a group from now on.
Ricky Starks ran his mouth in the ring about wanting a Philly street fight against Brian Cage. He told the crowd that Cage didn’t show up to work. That’s when the Machine’s music hit. Cage wrecked Starks before Mr. Absolute was dragged to safety by Will Hobbs and Hook. That street fight was announced for Rampage. This story has been a lot of stop and go, but that was an effective segment to pump up the mood quickly for their fight on Friday night.
Stud of the Show: Hangman Page
Nothing beats the return of a hero.
Dud of the Show: QT Marshall
The man hilariously paid the price for attacking an icon from behind. That was no way to treat a legend.
Hot opener action and an even hotter main event finish. All the rest in between built up stories for a satisfying evening of entertainment.
Share your thoughts about Dynamite. How do you rate it? Who stole the show?